Made some new friends at the gardens (Camdenville Paddock Community Garden)

.. some of them even hung around for a little while with me :)
check out the nuclear green little aphid thingy, this was taken with my 55mm macro and the PK-13 extension tube which gets closer than 1:1, as reference he was about 5mm long.

That dragon fly with the red bum was cool, i wish i got it with a better background, but even getting this close was hard, speaking of bums, i did see some of the bees with blue bums but did not get a picture of one.. next time.

In Album 23/01/2019

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8 thoughts on “Made some new friends at the gardens (Camdenville Paddock Community Garden)

  1. +Gerard Blacklock Cool album Gerard, brilliant macro work. That reminds me, I'm hunting for a macro lends for my wife's Nikon (I'm working on a new exhibition and might need to go beyond the capabilities of my little RX100 :) ) Any recommendations you have would be much appreciated, trying to do it on a budget :)

  2. +Chris Sutton the RX100 is a great little prosumer camera – my partner has one and it works so well. In terms of macro lens for nikon, i only just the other day (after these shots) got myself a secondhand 105mm f2.8 micro, its a lens i have wanted for quite awhile and the main reason for getting it was that i can use it for both macros and also for kids/portraits which both my older macro lens could not do – due to manual focus and being pretty old.
    The two lens i have predominately used up to this point are the 105mm f/4 with a PK13 extension tube, gets close to 1:1 and is all manual. The other is a 55mm f2.8 micro which gets me to 1:1 and has AF but its pretty crappy and i always just use manual focus.

    I bought the 105mm f/4 about 10 years ago for about 120 bucks, it is a second hand beat-up one but has worked pretty well, i got a PK13 extension tube a few years back for only a 30 bucks or something and that always stays on the 105mm f/4 now.

    I got the 55mm f2.8 also secondhand from Sunstudios in sydney when they were clearing a bunch of hire stuff, it is missing the focus ring (but can still use it, its also pretty beat up but optically ok (just one big dust spot :) ) i only paid 90 bucks for that several years ago.

    I am pretty keen on secondhand lens since you can grab a good bargain from time to time, but you need to be on the ball in terms of how much they are worth and comparing that to buying brand new warranty etc.

    In terms of the macro/micro lens out there – note Nikon refer to lens that can do 1:1 as micro there are some good ones a few points worthy of consideration:

    1) Focal lengths and focusing distance – this is pretty key for macros i reckon, for example when i use my 55mm which has a very short focus distance it means i have to get really close to the subject to get it to 1:1, kinda hard to shoot a twitchy dragon fly when your lens has to be less than 9 inches from the subject :) . note this distance is not from the lens hood but rather the sensor plane which means the distance from the hood to the bug is not much – hence this is why i like my old 105mm f/4 with pk13 ring, i guess it has a focus distance of about 10 or 12 inches from the lens hood – just going off memory here…. The take home message here is that you need to consider the distance to subject on the lens spec and consider if that is going to work for your project. The longer focal length lens like the 105mm and even ones like the 200mm or 180mm lens mean you can sit back from the subject more and could be alot easier to get live bugs on flowers etc.

    2) The reproduction ratio is pretty important, if your getting a macro lens, i would say 1:1 is a must, noting that nikon does not get any smaller/closer than that (natively anyway) – canon does have the MP-5 (i think) which goes to super -dooper macro :) but since your nikon thats not an option either.

    3) Versatility, this is key reason for me recently getting the 105mm f/2.8, it has VR and nice AF which means i can use it for more than just a dedicated macro lens, means i can do macros at the same time as chasing my kids in the park, well thats the plan anyway :) its too hard to carryout a macro setup and normal lens as well – as a guide for this lens and there are plenty of secondhand ones about. A near new secondhand one will be around the 700-800 mark – noting that you can buy it brand new from D-D photographics for AUD1100. I got mine for a bit under 600 which for me is the point at which it makes it viable, ie offsetting 5 year warranty and potential repair cost if its a dud or the focus or VR dies.

    The lens I hear good things about is the Tamron 90mm macro, lots of people rave about it, build quality is questionable i think tho. The nikkor 105mm f2.8 i think is one of the best, there is also a sigma 105mm f2.8 also which might be worth considering too , sigma now make some really nice lens and without a doubt in the same league (for significantly less cost too) as the nikkors. The sigma 180mm would also be worth researching too but it does come down to cost as well, since you can get into some big coin with these lens :)

    A final point to finish off with, your will most likely need a external flash unit too, when you have to shoot at very small apertures (to get a decent depth of field) you need more just than natural light, full sun can often not be enough.
    That said, whether you use the onboard flash (which is ok as well) or an external flash you need to diffuse the light – i have these cool pop-up diffusers which are a few bucks off ebay, they work great and make a huge difference to the softness of the light on a macro scene.

    I hope that helps, happy to clarify anything in my ramblings :)

    ** edit to fix some of my really crappy grammar :)

  3. +Gerard Blacklock Wow Gerard, I would have been very happy with a couple of pointers, but this in depth guide and kit review is amazing, incredibly helpful and I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. Would love to catch up for a chat and bring a bottle of something you would enjoy! Hope you and the family had a fabulous Australia Day. Cheers, Chris

  4. +Chris Sutton no probs mate – I just re-read it and edited a few really shitty grammar errors :) i'm a shocker for proof reading .. or lack there of :)
    Always happy for a chat – fyi the botanic gardens in sydney are awesome for macros :)

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